new hopes in 2010

As the year 2009 comes to an end,
Gino and I are wishing you and your family
new hopes, new joys and new beginnings in 2010!

Credits HERE.

Happy new year blogmates!


home for the holidays

Three days before Christmas of 2009, Gino and I were still undecided if we will be joining my clan's yearly reunion in Pampanga. We thought of spending the day quietly, just him and me, somewhere in the metro. But my mama kept reminding me how rarely my relatives get to see me. That uncomplicated sentence carried a sensible thought. If you know what my relatives went through, you would do what we've done --- drive home to Pampanga early morning of Christmas.

From the time we rode my sister's Starex up to the time they drove us back home in Cainta, the whole family kept rolling in laughter. My camera kept capturing smiles and candid moments. The tripod I brought came in handy too as we did our funny poses. At the end of the day, Gino and I knew we made the right choice of spending time with our family and relatives. Truly,
there's no place like home for the Holidays!

Credits HERE.

View more photos of our Christmas with the Celiz family HERE.


dream big in 2010

The year 2009 is, by far, the best one for me and my husband. An abundant amount of blessings came by our doorstep --- some, we prayed for and some... just came.

As we reflect on it, Gino and I both wish we have thanked Him enough with the way we have touched lives. In our own little way, we have tried to put meaning in the lives of people with inadequate resources. We both know we can't change their lives permanently. But at least for the time we were with them, my husband and I were responsible for those smiles painted on their faces.

Exactly 79 hours from now, we shall all welcome the year 2010. We know not what lies in the coming days of the new year. But instead of fearing the unknown,
what we can do is to have goals. Think of bright days ahead. Plan. Work on your plans. Visualize your pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Let us all dream big in 2010!

Credits HERE.

a child at play

You would have to do a lot of prompting before Terrence, my husband's nephew, poses for the camera. He loves to jump and move around, thus, making it really challenging for the person behind the camera to take a picture of him. But this holiday season, Gino and I discovered an easy way to trick Terrence. Play, explore and discover!

As he played, explored and discovered his grandmother's backyard in Sto. Tomas Batangas, Terrence acted as if he was in a whole new world! He gamely posed for the camera, unmindful of insects that crawled on his legs. He remained animated the whole time we were there as he discovered various organisms! With his Tito Gino acting as his Science teacher, I was beaming with happiness as I captured every discovery they made!

You can discover more about a person
in an hour of play than in a year
of conversation. - Plato

Title of the Photo: A Child at Play
Date Taken: December 27, 2009
Canon EOS 400D

View more Christmas photos with the Magtoto family HERE.


christmas gift tag 2009

It's 2 days before Christmas and I am still on a rush, wrapping some of the presents to be given to relatives. And just like last year, I made another personalized Christmas gift tag! This time though, I opted for just one design.

View the credits HERE.

Following a White Christmas theme because the song playing at the time I started designing was Bing Crosby's song with the same title, I used an adorable Snowman couple at the bottom right. I added some Christmas balls at the upper left part of the lay-out. I inscribed our names too so I won't have to write it on every printout of the tag. The rest of the task (aside from wrapping the gifts) is to print, cut the tags and write the receivers' names. Voila! Our very own gift tag!


the best christmas blessing

That would be her dear son, Kyle. I have seen Khaye bloom from the day she walked down the aisle up to the day she became a first-time mother. The brightness in those expressive eyes and the joy in her voice clearly declares to the world how fulfilling her life is. To let her know how much I love hearing her stories about her son, I made a December 2009 desktop calendar with her best Christmas blessing, Kyle!

I used a quickpage made by Michelle Batton. Thanks for this freebie Michelle! Now my dear Khaye, grab your calendar HERE!


december 2009 desktop calendar

With a number of photos from our Coron, Palawan escapade, I devoted my Sunday staring at each, thinking which one to use as my December desktop calendar. Calamian Islands Travel and Tours introduced us to various tourist destinations in Palawan. Recalling our vacation which happened last week, I asked myself which among those islands was on top of my list.

Without a doubt, my favorite spot would be the Black Island. Not because it was where Koh Lanta Palawan (Survivor France 2007) happened. Situated near Calauit Island, I loved Black Island because of its pristine water and its rich marine life. Add to that the mystery of the Black Island cave. I can still feel the coldness of the water when we swam in the cave. With that extraordinary experience, I chose this photo of me and my husband for my December 2009 desktop calendar.

food for the soul 12.2009

Are you able to find inner peace? This is a difficult task for many of us since the world is so busy and often frantic around us. In order to maintain good personal health it is necessary to think about inner peace. Find ways to reflect on your life and accept the things you cannot change. Meditation and breathing exercises can often help you calm your body down and find inner peace. If you cannot be at peace with yourself, it will be hard to be at peace at all...remember this as you try to become a more peaceful person. -SPARKPEOPLE

missing olive's bridal walk

I was tapped by Sherwin and Olive as an unofficial photographer for their wedding. Unfortunately, Gino and I arrived super late at the church ceremony at Mary the Queen Parish in Greenhills, San Juan. And so I missed my friend's bridal walk. But I captured their first kiss as Mr. and Mrs. Coronado!
I didn't know it would be so fun taking pictures at a wedding. And imagine this --- I was in my 3-inch heels wearing this killer dress but I was up and about roaming around the church capturing the lovely scenes. And when Olive tried to fix the trail of her gown, I knew I had to take a snap shot of it!

Again, wishing you blissful moments together Sherwin and Olive! Blogmates, you may view some of the photos I took HERE.


the surprise coron, palawan vacation

It was March of this year when I planned and booked a 4-day surprise vacation for me and my husband. Our destination? The pristine
Calamian Islands in Palawan. With the help of my 2 buddies from UP, I blocked the dates and kept mum about the trip.

You can just imagine how tormenting it was to keep the adventure from my husband for 8 months! Whenever I hear him mention the words travel, beach and island hopping, it was too difficult to shut my mouth. I couldn't even write about the vacation because he reads my blog. But I w
as successful! He only knew about my surprise for him exactly 4 days before we boarded the Cebu Pacific plane bound for Busuanga!

From the morning of November 27 until the afternoon of the 30th, we were lost in the beautiful islands around Coron. The whole time we were in that trip, made possible through Calamian Islands Travel and Tours, Gino and I were able to appreciate and love the Philippines more.
It isn't surprising to know one of the islands was a venue for Survivor France in 2007 dubbed as Koh Lanta Palawan. No words can ever describe how pristine the place is. Palawan is truly a paradise.

Despite having cough and colds, I was in high spirits the duration of our vacation as I marveled at the beautiful islands of Palawan. Add to that my husband's indescribable joy. A detailed story shall be posted soon!